Christopher Johnson, an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry at Stony Brook University, received a Young Investigators Grant from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research for his project, “Probing Electronic Structure and Energy Transfer in Protected Metal Nanoparticles by Mass-Selective Spectroscopy.”
Johnson’s laboratory will be using newly developed experimental techniques to provide unprecedentedly specific insights into the role that chemical interactions play in controlling how energy and charge are transferred into and out of the core of metallic particles with diameters of ~1 nanometer. This work will use an instrument custom-built by his group to choose nanoparticles with exactly known atomic compositions, cool them to a few degrees above absolute zero, and probe charge localization and movement within them using laser spectroscopy. A fundamental understanding of how to customize the molecules bound to the surface of nanoparticles to direct these processes will be important for engineering complex nanoscale systems in electronics, sensing, catalysis and more.
Before coming to Stony Brook, Johnson was a National Science Foundation American Competitiveness in Chemistry Fellow at Yale University.
More About the Award
The objective of the Air Force’s Young Investigator Research Program (YIP) is to foster creative basic research in science and engineering, enhance early career development of outstanding young investigators, and increase opportunities for the young investigators to recognize the Air Force mission and the related challenges in science and engineering. YIP is open to scientists and engineers at research institutions across the United States who received PhD or equivalent degrees in the last five years and show exceptional ability and promise for conducting basic research. This year the YIP awarded approximately $20.8 million in grants to 58 scientists and engineers from 41 research institutions and small businesses.